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How to ask for help if faced with a mental health issue

How much have you seen or heard the following sayings ‘it’s ok to talk’, ‘reach out if you need help’ or ‘it’s ok not to be ok’?

I find that they are designed to entice us to talk about our mental health if we are struggling, but personally I find these sayings a little shallow. 

Sometimes it will appear obvious when we are going through a hard time, but there is no simple way of knowing if we have a mental health problem. And trust me when I say: us men sure as hell aren’t going to admit it that easily if we are; pride, ego, shame, guilt and failure make sure of that. 

This isn’t the end of it though, oh no no no, next up comes the really tricky part, trying describe or articulate what we mean and what we need, and not worry that we won’t be believed. 

To the average Joe or Joette who has no idea or education about mental health this is nigh on impossible. 

This is likewise a huge factor as to why people don’t simply ask for help. 

If you were facing a mental health issue right now, would you know how to tell your spouse/friend how you feel? That you only need support because you don’t really know what’s happening; all you know is it doesn’t feel right. 

You may well do, but most don’t.

How are we supposed to ‘ask for help’ when we don’t know what the trouble is?

I know from my own experience that I didn’t have a scooby about how to ask for help, simply because I was never taught, shown or because I couldn’t contextualise, verbalise or articulate what on earth was wrong or what I needed.

This is why it’s so hard for us to ‘just ask for help’; it’s not that binary.

If you’re struggling right now and you don’t want to come out with ‘please help me, I can’t do this any longer,’ then give this a try.... 

‘I need to speak to you, and please listen. Right now, I don’t recognise what’s going on with me, I can’t explain it myself, but something isn’t right, and I need your support, will you do that for me please?’.

Then I want you to go to www.docready.org and take a look at the following questions about how you may be feeling.

Once you’ve done that, make an agreement with your friend/mate or whoever to see your GP.

This is only one way to ask for help. 

I hope that helps somebody, somewhere. 

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